The project will evaluate the Ruhr's innovation strategies and draw on the concept of a 'learning region' (Lundvall, 1994), characterised by: * a clear orientation towards competing on the basis of change; * intense intra-regional input-output linkages;
* a regional labour market for exchanging know-how;
* regional conventions (shared norms and values) which provide stability (storper, 1994)
* efficient information flows.
The study aims to illuminate the extent to which policy in the Ruhr increases firms' capacity to use change productively. It focuses on the regional level because the increasing importance of knowledge in today's economy has strengthened the role of social and territorial factors in the economic process.
The researcher should benefit from working with experienced researchers and drawing on the expertise of the host institution in this field. The methodology comprises interviews with key actors and a survey of companies in mechanical / plant engineering and new growth sectors. (For references, please see detailed proposal.)